Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Needlework Tuesday - Too many projects - On Wednesday

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

Last week, I wrote about working on 3 projects and starting a 4th. Well, I think I've now spread myself to thin because while I worked on all of the projects this week, I don't have much to show for it. I do have a few things to write about...

First up, the Hidden Gusset fingerless mitts. I have one almost complete. Just need to do the thumb. I'm not totally happy with it, though. It's not quite as snug as I'd like it, especially at the top around the fingers. I guess it'll be good if I'm working on something and need good dexterity. Since I've already started this one twice, I'm probably going to make the other one. Maybe they will grow on me. I'll post a photo once the thumb is done.

Last week, I mentioned a project that was in the planning stages. Well, I started it. I'm using the Sand Layers pattern, but I've renamed it "Sky Layers" because I'm using leftovers from my sky scarf. Since the pattern only uses two colours and I wanted to use 5, I sat down and planned it out. At least, I thought I did. Once I started knitting, though, I realized that my planning wasn't all that thorough. I've already made some changes on the fly and I still refining the colour changes. I hope to get it more ironed out before I continue. I really don't want to be ripping out another project. Here's what I have so far:

The colour is off in the photo.  It starts off with light grey then goes to charcoal and finally light blue.
The latest project from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month showed up in the mail yesterday. It's a leg warmer/mitten set. My first thought was "Leg warmers? I haven't worn a pair since the late 70s." My second thought was "Sure. Why not? I sort of like the yarn." My third thought "Hmmm...Am I really going to wear these? Mary Maxim sent me a project last year for boot cuffs, which are like short leg warmers. I made one. Didn't like the way it fit. Didn't make the other." I'm still having thoughts and am not sure what I'm going to do with this yet. Here it is:


Two things about the photo struck me as odd.

  1. It's winter and she's not wearing socks. My feet are never cold in winter and I walk around barefoot in the house all of the time, but I'd never put on boots without socks. 
  2. Why go through all of that work to hide the leg warmers under the boots? Is that the way they are supposed to be worn? Back in the 70s, I wore them instead of tall boots. That is, with runners to keep my legs warm or with short boots. Either way, it showed them off. 

Was that the style back then or was that just me?  Has that changed? Anyone know?

Lastly, Kate over at Art and Socks asked me to friend her on ravelry. Well, I was a little embarrassed that I'd been using ravelry for patterns, but hadn't actually put any of my projects on there. That has been remedied. In fact, I had a lot of fun going back over some old projects and putting them up on the website. I didn't realize how easy it was. I still have a bunch of previously finished projects that I'll be adding as time goes by. Going forward, I hope to do add the project as soon as I start it. So, if you are reading this and are also on ravelry, feel free to friend me. I'm ILoveSpring. LazyDaisy was already taken. I still have to figure out how to put a ravelry button on my blog.

That's it for this week. I'm going to continue working on my WIPs.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Needlework Tuesday - Project updates

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

Happy Groundhog Day!! Here in southern Manitoba it's a bright sunny day. So, it looks like we will have six more weeks of winter. We didn't see our resident groundhog (the one who lives in our neighbourhood forest); I'm sure he's sound asleep in his den. I know I would be if I had six more weeks to snooze. Oh well. Six weeks would take us to mid-March, which is usually when we see warmer weather anyway.

This week I worked on a number of projects. My Shibui scarf called Multigrain is going rather well and I'm pleased with it. I'm currently on the second section. For this scarf, you knit with two yarns held together as one using seed stitch throughout. There are three yarns: A, B,C. You change one yarn out for another at the end of each section, like this: A+A, A+B, B+B, B+C, C+C, C+A, A+A. That's it. I'm knitting it from right to left because I mistakenly didn't get all of my B yarn wound. Not that anyone would know. Last week I mentioned that the scarf was supposed to be all one colour, but because I couldn't find all of the yarns in one colour on sale, I opted for two different colours. So far, I'm liking the effect. Here's what the first two sections looks like:



The other summer scarf is also going well. The pattern is Tier from Shibui Yarns. However, I can't decide how long to make it. The pattern offers two lengths and I originally thought I'd make the longer one and purchased the yarn accordingly. However, now I'm not sure. I'm just over halfway through the second of three balls and it already looks long enough.  Well, that is once I do the other end of dropped stitches. If I do go for the shorter length, I'm stuck with the dilemma of what to do with the remaining ball of yarn. It's small (50g, 174yds), so it's not enough to make anything and its fibre content of linen, silk, and wool, makes it a little more limiting. It's also quite expensive, so I don't want to use it up any old way.  I think I've just talked myself into making the longer one. ;) Here's it is:


It's stocking stitch so it's knitting up quite quickly. Please tell me that blocking will take out some of the edge rolling.

I did start one more project, Hidden Gusset fingerless mitts. Actually, it's a restart. The first time I attempt this one was a few weeks ago I ended up with some wonky stitch counts. This time, I'm counting stitches every time there's an increase...something I should have done the first time. I'm almost back to where I was before I ripped it out and so far, so good. I like the yarn, but still not loving it for this project. I already have a stripy pair of fingerless mitts and was hoping to knit a solid colour pair. However, I needed to pick yarn from my stash after spending way too much at the yarn sale in January. Here's what this reknit looks like:


The last thing I worked on is still in the planning stages. I have a lot of yarn leftover from Sky Scarf I did a few years ago.  If you look closely, you'll see some dust.


I knew I was going to make a shawl, but I wasn't sure which one. Now that I've thought about it, I'm pretty sure I'm going to go ahead with Sand Layers ( my version). I've already made one like this, but the designer created a new edging and since I adore this pattern, I thought I'd make another one. It should look a bit different if I use all five colours.

This coming week, I hope to continue work on the scarves and fingerless mitts.  I'm anxious to start the new shawl, so I'll probably do that as well.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Needlework Tuesday - Scarf, Hat, Scarf

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

This past week, I worked on two knitting projects: the latest one from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month, and a new one. (I didn't get around to fixing/ripping out the fingerless mitts.  Darn!  Forgot about that one.)

I managed to fix the hat I wrote about last week. There was a problem with the pattern and it wasn't turning out quite right. As it turns out, it was a misplaced "*". That wasn't the only problem with the pattern. It called for a 24" circular needle. However, I couldn't get the stitches to join in the round on that size, so I used a 16" circular needle instead. Much better.

I also encountered a problem with the scarf. Even though I followed the pattern, the loop on the back of the scarf (to thread one end through to hold it in place) isn't wide enough to accommodate the width of the scarf, so it doesn't lie flat. It's knit into the scarf itself, so the only way to correct it is to rip the whole thing out. Not happening at this point.  I'll just pretend it doesn't exist.

Despite having a few problems with this project, I'm sort of happy with it.

Short story about the photo: I had showed my husband the scarf after I was done because I liked the patterning. I hadn't mentioned the matching hat. I figured he'd figure it out when he saw it on my head. Silly me. So, the first few photos he took featured only the scarf. He completely chopped off my head because...hat? What hat? It didn't even occur to me to say something until he showed me the shots he took. This is me doing an eye roll and pointing to the hat.


I also started another project. Another scarf from Shibui called Multigrain. It's supposed to be a one-colour scarf using three different yarns. However, when I bought the yarn (on sale), I couldn't find enough yarn in any one colour so I decided to improvise. I'm the three different yarns (as the pattern suggests), but two different greens. Here's the start of the scarf and the other yarns:


I'll explain more about how the different yarns and colours are used when I get to those sections.

I really shouldn't have started another scarf because I already have one on the go, two if you count a lacy shawl that can double as a scarf...one I've been working on for way too long.  This new one will make three.  Dumb idea! Scarves are so, so, so long and I'm easily bored. I've been trying to do a little bit on all three every day, but I might have to start another project or two to break up the monotony. Mitts? A summer top? Another shawl? I have yarn and patterns ready to go for all three, but I'm not sure I can juggle another project without letting one or two slide. I'll have to see how the week goes.

How many projects do you have on the go at one time? Not counting UFOs. I mean actually working on, say, at least once or twice a week.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Needlework Tuesday - On Tuesday!!!!

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

Look at me posting a Tuesday post on Tuesday!!  Maybe it's this glorious weather we are having.  The nice thing is that it's expected to last a week.  The highways are probably going to be icy at times (YUK!!!),  but it's going to be nice to wear a lighter spring jacket instead of a heavy parka.

This past week, I started two new projects.

The first project is the latest one from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month. I showed the project package last week and figured I might as well start. Because it's made with chunky yarn, it knit up quite quickly. It's essentially stocking stitch, so it's curling up quite a bit and definitely needs to be blocked.  I'll show the whole scarf once that is done, but for now here's a close up of the patterning:



Cool, eh?  I like the effect.  The best part is that there are very few ends to weave in.  Yay!!! I also started the matching hat, but I'm pretty sure there's a mistake in the pattern. Either that or I did something wrong. I noticed that something was amiss basically from the start, but continued to knit anyway. I'll have to rip back about an hour's worth of work before trying to figure out what happened. If it's a pattern mistake, I hope MM will send out a correction (they did this once before). I could try phoning them, but last time I couldn't reach the person I needed to talk to. It's probably best if I just try to figure it out on my own. It shouldn't be too bad, but it's definitely annoying.

The other new project I started is a summer scarf. The pattern is Tier from Shibui Yarns. It's rather plain with just a few sections of dropped stitches, but that's sort of why I like it.  I really like the yarn I'm using (Twig (colour Mineral 2022, also from Shibui), but it's more rough than soft.  It's made from a combination of linen, recycled silk, and wool. Here's what I have so far:



It's a super easy pattern and I've only just started. However, getting the tension correct after dropping a number of yarnovers (yo) was a bit of a challenge. It, too, is in stocking stitch and will need to be blocked. I have a couple of other projects from Shibui lined up. Look for those in futures posts.

This coming week, I'll work on the summer scarf for a bit then I'm going to figure out the problem I'm having with the hat (see above).  Oh, yes. I mustn't forget about the fingerless mitt I mentioned last week. It was another pattern I somehow screwed up. However, at least on that one I know it was me and not the pattern.  I should figure that one out soon before it ends up a UFO.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Needlework Tuesday - On Thursday

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

Another week and yet another storm. We just can't catch a break here in southern Manitoba. Many of the highways were closed for most of the day, which means we spent the day at home. The blowing is over now, but we are under a Extreme Cold Warning. It'll be -42C with the wind chill overnight. The good news is that after tomorrow we are going to have a huge upward swing in temperature. By next Thursday, the day time high is supposed to be 0C (-5 with the wind chill). Yay!

Anyway, I have a few finished projects to show you, but first another project from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month showed up the other day. I like the weave-like pattern on this scarf/hat combo, but I'm not wild about the style of the scarf. However, I don't have one like it, so I figured I'm make it as is.


The colours didn't show up well at all in the photo. From left to right: taupe, coral, and navy blue. At first I thought it was black and got really excited. I love black yarn. On closer inspection, though, I realized it wasn't. Boo. I guess they ran out of grey that's pictured on the pattern.  Another boo.

These next two projects finally got blocked this past week. One I finished in November; the other, I got done between Christmas and New Years. The yarn for both had come from the Mary Maxim's Knit Club of the Month, but I didn't care for either pattern and decided to make something other else out of it.  Too see the original patterns I pass on, check on my post on December 6.

The first one is the Boneyard Shawl, designed by Stephen West.  Unfortunately, this sparkly, variegated yarn doesn't do this pattern justice. It is big, cozy, and super easy to knit, though, so I guess it'll do.


Here's a close up of the "rib texture":


If you like original, funky, colourful knits, check out Westknits or Stephen West on ravelry.com.  I'll definitely be making another one of his creations.

The second one is Offhand Lace by Caitlin ffrench. It's fabulous in the neutral color (shown on ravelry.com), but I like my version, too, which uses two variegated yarns with long repeats.  Here it is:


Because the yarn is chunky and the suggested needles are quite large, it knit up in no time. I think I wore it for a straight week after it was done.

I did start one more project, Hidden Gusset fingerless mitts, in the last few weeks, but I haven't had any luck with it. The first yarn I chose was a lovely plum coloured tweedy wool, but it was breaking at the slightest tug. So I abandoned it and chose a much more sturdy sock yarn. The colours are okay, but the contrast is a bit too high. Anyway, things were going great until I sectioned off the stitches for the thumb and realized that my stitch counts were off by quite a few stitches.  Not sure what happened, but I'm going to have to start again, otherwise, the pair will never match.  

Did I mention that my local yarn store has a sale going on right now? Select yarns are 50% off, while the rest of the yarn in the entire store is 20% off. I swear some of the skeins were jumping right off the table into my basket. What was I supposed to do? Put it back? I had been eyeing some of them at full price before Christmas. There was no way I was going to leave them there unloved for even one more day.  In other news, my husband might be planning an intervention.

This week I'm going to work on the scarf/hat combo as well as figure out the fingerless mitt fiasco.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Needlework Tuesday - Christmas Mittens

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. We sort of did, but since all of southern Manitoba was under a winter storm watch/warning, we decided to stay at home Christmas day and not venture into the city for our family dinner. As it turns out, the storm didn't hit until much later in the day, late evening in fact, and we could have gone and probably made it home safely before it got really bad. The thing is when you live in a rural area, you just never know what the highway conditions are going to be like. We kept hearing that conditions would be deteriorating rapidly and since we were over an hour away from our destination, we decided not to take the chance. It's bad enough to be stranded in the city, but on Christmas with everything closed. Hmmm...no thanks.

Anyway, it gave me a chance to start a new book ("The Lake House" by the ever fabulous Kate Morton) and do some more knitting.

Last week, I showed you part of a mitten I was knitting for my husband. The Heritage Mitts (link to pattern) are based on the Hudson's Bay point blanket. I finished these and I absolutely adore them. I'm kind of sorry I didn't buy a second kit for myself. My husband and I aren't matchy-matchy types, though, so it's just as well. Here they are:


The pattern offered options for putting the famous "points" on the cuffs. However, I decided I liked the mittens without them.

These were so fun and quick to knit. One thing though....I'm not that pleased that I had about 1 inch (!!!!!) of the white roving left when I finished the thumb on the second mitten. Not even enough for weaving in. I managed to tuck it in under two stitches and tie it off. I'm hoping it'll hold. My husband says he can feel the knot, but isn't bothered by it. I'm not sure what happened...I didn't even leave tails as long as the pattern suggested. So not cool!!

After those were done, I started a pair of lightning fast mittens for myself. This was another kit I picked up at my local yarn store. I started them on Christmas Eve and by Christmas day evening, I had a brand new pair of gorgeous mittens. Here they are:


Unlike the Heritage Mitts I have quite a bit of yarn left. Not enough to make anything, though. It's a shame because the yarn was quite expensive.  I know, I know, there's no pleasing me.  First there's not enough yarn left, then there's too much.  ;)

I've been itching to start another project, but haven't done so yet. I have plenty of projects I want to do and plenty of yarn to do them, I just haven't matched them up yet. I do have a few matched up, but the yarn isn't wound into balls so they'll have to wait until I get to the yarn store. Of course, I have a few UFOs laying about, but there's nothing like the thrill of starting a new project. We'll have to see what this coming week brings.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Needlework Tuesday - Shawl, Vest, and a Canadian Classic

Needlework Tuesday is an occasional post detailing my needlework and/or crafting projects.

Believe it or not, I wrote a post last week, but it was Friday before I got back to the computer to post it. At that point, I figured I'd just skip it and post it this week. However, now the information is outdated, so here's another try. I finally finished knitting the shawl, Jette from Drops Design on ravelry.com and had time to steam block it. Here it is:


I deviated from the pattern slightly in a couple of places. For instance, that wide green stripe isn't in the pattern. I added for two reasons: 1) to use up the rest of the green yarn I had, 2) to "stretch" the pink yarn in hopes of having enough to finish the project. That plan didn't work. I seriously underestimated how much yarn I'd need to finish up and had to order another ball.

Anyway, it's done and I love it. It's large, cozy, warm, and made with (mostly) leftover yarn for just over $20. Can't ask for much more out of a shawl. Perfect for watching TV.

The other thing I worked on was Top Down Vest from Mary Maxim. I had a little trouble deciphering the pattern at first, but after that initial stumble it was easy peasy. Since the yarn is bulky it knitted up quickly. Here's the finished piece:


I'm quite pleased with the result. I was a little worried that I didn't pick the right size, but it fits me perfectly. I'd show you, but my photography helper was out today and I haven't mastered selfies. Even though I ordered the buttons that they suggested, I didn't use them. I found some others I liked better, especially after the mistake I made. No need to talk about that, though. Let's just move on, shall we?

I really like this yarn, Mary Maxim Aspen. It's 100% acrylic and it's speckled with all of these colours making it so rich looking. I used colourways, Fireside. I'd definitely use it again. Here's a close up:


After finishing the vest, I started on a pair of mittens for my husband. I don't knit much for him for a variety of reasons (see below), but when we were at the yarn store not too long ago, he spotted this kit for mittens based on the Hudson's Bay point blanket, a true Canadian classic with it's green, red, yellow and navy stripes.  This version, put together by my local yarn store, is knit with roving, which is something new to me. Also new for me is knitting mitts from a chart. I had a little trouble, but I think I managed okay. They will be good enough for my husband, who will either 1) lose one or both, 2) store them on the slushy floor of the car.    Here's a little peek at one sans thumb:



This is another one of those projects that knit up quickly.  It shouldn't be too long before we are looking for one mitt that's been lost.  Note to self:  Check the floor of the car first.

This coming week, I'm going to finish the HBC mitts and start another pair (different yarn, different pattern) for myself.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather over at Books and Quilts.    If you'd done any crafting this week that you'd like to share with others, please head over to Heather's blog and use the Mr. Linky to link up your post, so others can enjoy your creations.